How To Price Your Photography III
If You’re Struggling To Price Right
Pricing is subjective to every photographer. There is no one way to price your photography. If there was, what would the fun be in that? I guess that is how the service business works. Think about photography businesses like schools. The school is a business, and they say their mission is to educate us or our wards. Whether we are truly educated or not, it’s debatable. You and I can agree that there are different types of schools, in the sense that not all schools are ranked the same. Some schools are more expensive than others. I’m not telling you to compare a private and a government school, for the difference is quite vast, like the north is far from the south. I’m telling you to compare two private schools and you will still see a difference in the fees they pay. Now, this is how photography is. It doesn’t matter who is the photographer, their price is their price, though some can be absurd and others too low, their price is their alone and they do not have to justify it. You don’t see schools justifying their fees to any parent telling them 51 reasons they charge $7000.00.
I’ve never been to America or even outside Africa, so I’m not going to pretend to know much about their currency. So, as a Ghanaian, I’m going to have to write everything here in cedis, in my local currency. My foreign readers, you’ll get it, don’t worry.
So, I’m going to get right into it.
An entry level photographer should be charging between 500.00 cedis to 2,000 cedis. This is for like a semi-pro photographer. I’m writing this article because most of my Ghanaian photographers are pricing too low! This leaves them broke even though they come with expensive equipment, charter an Uber or bolt, pay everything from their pocket and after the photo session they, on the real, take nothing home. Absolutely nothing! Many are running the businesses at a loss. I hope this article will reach more photographers in Ghana so they know they’re not beggars but are running a business. So, yes, between 500.00 cedis and 2,000 should be what you look at as a semi-pro photographer. Taking less than that is you running at a loss.
Always think about the formula I wrote in the part 1 of this article; Revenue — Cost = Profit
Beginners who have enough knowledge about the craft and can produce good enough images should be pricing around 700.00 cedis to a 100.00 cedis. This isn’t too much. This is moderate for the beginner. When I was a (beginner) photographer, I charged 200.00 cedis for my service. I was good enough. I only realized that I was being exploited. Later in the future, I fired some clients and moved ahead.
Pros should be looking at charging between a 1000.00 cedis to 3000.00 cedis. Some pros are already doing this and charging more than that. How about top pros? People who deliver massively? These are the elite group. These should be pricing between 3000.00 cedis to 7000.00 cedis. Some can even go to the extent of of pricing at 10,000.00 cedis, depending on their areas of expertise. These could be fashion, film, documentary, TV ads, etc.
This article is not necessarily telling you how much you should price your services. This article is to tell you that you are pricing too small and you’re leaving money on the table. Not only are you leaving money on the table, but you’re running your business into the ground. You won’t be able to purchase a new gear or upgrade if you needed to. It’s the reason you still hold on to that 10-year-old camera. If you do not know how to price, here is a guideline. Give yourself to it. But don’t limit yourself to these figure. I desire you to be successful. You can be. Don’t be famous on Instagram and broke in real life. Clout doesn’t get the bills paid.
I went hard on this one, didn’t I? Thank you for checking out this article. If you’re new here, I’m Clement Eastwood, a photographer and an author who has made it his mission to educate photographers. Tap on this link to have access to my books on photography. And here’s a link to my podcast.
More to come on business in photography.
PS: I’m also working on a book for you, fellow photographer on how to market your business. You’ll love it when it comes out.